October 22, 2009
Some simple rules of thumb for the foreign ex-dictator out to make a mint on the U.S. lecture circuit: Get yourself included in a speakers’ series that features non-controversial names like Laura Bush and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Promise your “august audience” a “frank exchange.” Maybe drop the names of one or two revered American leaders who are your close friends.
Is Corzine a Bigot (cont'd)?
October 08, 2009
Jeffrey Goldberg gets former FDA commissioner David Kessler's take on Corzine's fattist campaign strategy: "This ad reflects a total lack of understanding, empathy and tolerance. No one should be criticized for being overweight. We're all wired to respond to different stimuli -- sex, gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs -- and for many people it's food. I would rather have this problem than some of these other problems. Some of the world's greatest leaders, from Winston Churchill to Ted Kennedy, struggled with their weight. This struggle has nothing to do with leadership abilities.
The End of the Beginning
September 28, 2009
With apologies to Winston Churchill, President Obama may not have presided over the beginning of the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last week in New York, but he seems finally to have marked the end of an embarrassing beginning to his Middle East diplomacy. The president and his senior advisors came to office nine months ago eager to say and do what George W. Bush didn’t.
December 26, 2008
Update: On Saturday, December 27, Berkley Books announced that it is canceling publication of Angel at the Fence. Click here to read more about it. On February 2, 2007, Herman Rosenblat’s older brother Sam died. When he was on his deathbed, Herman went to visit him in the hospital in Florida. “When Herman tried to talk to Sammy, he looked away,” Sam’s widow Jutta Rosenblat told me on the phone on the afternoon of December 25.
November 19, 2008
A year and a half ago, around the time thoughtful conservatives started to realize that George W. Bush might not in fact be a combination of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote a cover story pinpointing the source of the president's failings: He had a competence problem. Going forward, Lowry suggested, the party might want a new leader a bit less, well, meatheaded than the incumbent. Republicans would seek out someone who "doesn't run the government like George W.
Discipline and Decline
March 12, 2008
Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 By Christopher Clark (Harvard University Press, 776 pp., $35) On his way back from self-imposed exile in Paris, in 1844, Heinrich Heine caught a first glimpse of Prussian soldiers in Aachen, a city in the far west corner of Germany: I wandered about in this dull little nest For about an hour or more Saw Prussian military once again They looked much the same as before. [ ...
White Man for the Job
April 23, 2007
Last month, a little-known British historian named Andrew Robert swas swept into the White House for a three-hour-long hug. He lunched with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, huddled alone with the president in the Oval Office, and was rapturously lauded by him as"great." Roberts was so fawned over that his wife, Susan Gilchrist,told the London Observer, "I thought I had a crush on him, but it's nothing like the crush President Bush has on him." At first glance, this isn't surprising.
A Fighting Faith
December 13, 2004
On January 4, 1947, 130 men and women met at Washington's Willard Hotel to save American liberalism. A few months earlier, in articles in The New Republic and elsewhere, the columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop had warned that "the liberal movement is now engaged in sowing the seeds of its own destruction." Liberals, they argued, "consistently avoided the great political reality of the present: the Soviet challenge to the West." Unless that changed, "In the spasm of terror which will seize this country ...
Ol' Blue Lips
May 13, 1991
Kitty Kelley's achievement is extraordinary. She has provided a reason for sympathy with Nancy Reagan. She has taken one of the shrewdest, coldest, most manipulative women in American politics, a woman who broke new ground in spousal power, and transformed her into a victim. Kelley is a mean and greedy writer, so drunk on sensationalism that she lacks compassion and understanding. Her subject was a mean and greedy First Lady, so drunk on power that she lacked compassion and understanding. Both believe that nothing succeeds like excess and pettiness.
The Screwtape Columns
February 09, 1986
Right Reason By William F. Buckley, Jr. edited by Richard Brookisher (Doubleday, 454 pp., $19.95) On the cover of this latest collection of William Buckley's newspaper columns is the photograph (presumably he had a say in selecting it) of a man ill at ease with himself, looking out on the world as if from a battlement, fearing that some blow must fall from an unexpected quarter. The head is held taut, hunched back on his shoulders, as if it had once been severed, sewn back on, and can be moved now only stiffly, as in fact he moves it on television.